NFC South: Blue Adams

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

Time for a quick trip around the NFC South. This time, we're taking a look at a potential new starter for each team. In the case of the Falcons, we're bending the rules slightly.

Carolina Panthers

After spending the last two years in Carolina, defensive tackle Damione Lewis maybe be stepping into a starting role. Lewis could be one of the keys to Carolina's season. He didn't work out as a first-round pick in St. Louis, but played well as a backup for the Panthers. With Kris Jenkins gone, Lewis finally might be in the perfect situation. The Panthers want more speed on the defensive line and speed is Lewis' strength.

New Orleans Saints

Free safety Kevin Kaesviharn wasn't able to claim a starting job after signing with the Saints last year, but he seems destined for the starting lineup this year.

Atlanta Falcons

It's not quite a starting position, but nickel backs play almost as much as starters and the Falcons are looking to fill this role. With Von Hutchins lost for the season with a foot injury, rookie Chevis Jackson, Antoine Harris and Blue Adams are getting work at nickel back.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Defensive end Gaines Adams started some as a rookie. But the Bucs are counting on him to be a full-time starter this year. Adams said a change in diet has him ready for big things.

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas 

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- The Falcons parted ways with former first-round pick DeAngelo Hall in the offseason and they might end up replacing him with a guy who wasn't even drafted and did a stint in NFL Europe.

That's Brent Grimes.

The Shippensburg (Pa.) University product opened practice working as a first-team cornerback.

"He's paid his dues and he's worked extremely hard to get here and he's got an opportunity to be a starter in this league,'' coach Mike Smith said.

Grimes might be untested, but his work with the starters may not be temporary. The coaching staff believes Grimes might be able to develop into a solid player after having a strong offseason. Third-round pick Chevis Jackson also will be in the mix, but the Falcons might not want to throw him into the starting lineup right away. Grimes is working ahead of a group of cornerbacks that also includes Von Hutchins, Blue Adams and David Irons.

In other news, defensive end Jamaal Anderson left the afternoon practice with a hamstring injury. The extent of the injury wasn't known right away.

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